Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why games are awesome (and why we aren't all going to die)

I was invited recently to give a microtalk at the Austin IGDA meeting, and as someone who has a poor memory of how long it takes to prepare a good speech, I accepted.

It's also the first time I've done an opinion speech, and I was pretty nervous about not having a backlog of prior development work and 'lessons learned' to lean on. It's also the first time I've ever had to boil a talk to under 10 minutes, which was also pretty scary but also appealed to my optimization part of my brain.

So, what did I talk about? The whole "doom and gloom" reports that had been coming in from analysts had been bugging me recently, so I figured I'd tackle them head on.

Thankfully, the IGDA Austin crowd was super supportive, and cheered me on all the way to the Bill Pullman-lifted ending. Thanks to everyone who showed to listen to all of our microtalks!

Since it's a microtalk, there's a bunch of stuff that I had to cut and just leave the big message. I'm sure people are going to see this online and pick apart small points (for example, "sure, but retail titles make more money because they cost more"/"but Rock Band made less dollars over time"), and there's arguments against that ("sure, but that's gross profit. The net profit is a completely different story in most cases") and on and on, but I think the bigger message is still true - NPDs are no longer the only source of information, downloaded titles are equal to retail titles, and people need to start looking at everything on both the release platform and attached title sales rather than just one subsection.

But yeah, it's a topic that isn't as black and white as "here's some dev lessons learned" and I doubt that everyone's going to agree with me. Still, It was fun to do a short rant topic about something I'm passionate about, and it's helped to make me a better speechwriter.


razlo said...

Good, entertaining talk, and I agree with your points. I buy more downloadable games each month than physical copy games, and I'm not alone in doing that.

J. said...

Right on the heels, NPD says digital downloads trump box sales now.

Anne said...

Hey Dan: Speaking of speeches...would you be up for giving a talk at the Indianapolis Museum of Art next year? We could have someone interview you on stage, so that way you wouldn't have to prepare anything...we're dying to present a program from a game developer and we want you!

Contact me at if you're interested. We'll pay you, of course...

Linda said...

Because it the practise of the nature that which thing have to born will have to die that the new things will takes place instead of them.